Strobel, daughter of Shane Strobel and Debbie Strobel of Benton, said she joined FBLA at the urging of Heuring and her keyboarding teacher, Kathy Owens, and also to help herself. "I thought it would look really good on college applications," Strobel said.
FBLA is a vocational organization with over 250,000 members, that prepares students for careers in business and business education. "It is an excellent organization with lots of opportunities," Heuring said.
Earlier this year, Strobel, who will be a sophomore this fall, agreed to compete in the Word Processing I competition at District 15 event in Cape Girardeau. "Mrs. Owens encouraged me to do it because I did really well in her class," Strobel said.
Strobel received first place at district competition, the only contestant eligible in her event to move on to state competition at the State Leadership Conference in Columbia in April. Once again, she won first place, as well as the opportunity to compete at nationals in Denver.
The Word Processing I Event is divided into two parts. The first part is taken at school. "I have to memorize how to arrange, set up and format letters and memos," Strobel said. She submits eight letters in the different styles as instructed.
The second part is completed at the actual competition and is a multiple choice test with 100 questions. The test evaluates several communication and word-processing skills, according to Strobel and Heuring.
Strobel said she was surprised when she found out that she won first place at state and would represent Missouri at national competition. "I didn't think that I'd win because everyone looked smarter than me," she said.
Strobel's mother is also quite amazed. "I cannot believe my 14-year-old daughter has already acquired skills to earn a living," she exclaimed. "Isn't that wonderful?"
Her daughter agreed. "I've learned a lot about computers, which is important, because everything is going to depend on computers," she said.
State representatives from across the United States, as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Guam, the Caymen Islands and worldwide Department of Defense schools will vie for top honors at the national conference. In addition to competition, Strobel will also attend general meeting sessions and workshops.
Heuring commented that attending national leadership meeting is: "a very good leadership experience. It is a tremendous feat for a student to win at state and go on to nationals."
Attending the national conference will be an experience for Strobel. "I'm excited because I've never been there and I've never flown before," she said. Her mom is also going on the trip.
The three women are making plans to enjoy the city during their stay. "The national organization encourages delegates to go sight-seeing," Heuring said.
So far, the three have agreed to visit Pike's Peak. Strobel is also interested in going to Casa Bonita, a Mexican restaurant. "It features live entertainment," she said, such as cliff divers and a strolling mariachi band.
Kelly FBLA has sponsored several fund raisers to help with the expenses for Strobel's trip to Denver. A roadblock, car wash, two garage sales and concession stand at a local auction were conducted.
Strobel, who is planning on making FBLA a big part of her high school career, has certainly gotten off to a good start. She will be her chapter vice-president next year and may run for a district or state office in upcoming years. She said: "I definitely want to compete in the future."